HD Heads-Up: April 8-14

➢➢ Binge free-to-air programming abounds at Easter, with both TVNZ 1 and TVNZ 2 airing compilations of new series. TVNZ 1 has box sets of Am I Being Unreasonable? and Nolly while TVNZ 2 is screening a five-hour compilation of episodes from The Rookie ahead of Monday’s season five premiere — which is launching on a double-bill with spin-off The Rookie: Feds. The Best Ever Rookie showcases episodes from previous season that first aired on Three and screens from 7.30 Saturday. TVNZ 1’s 8.35 alternative is the full run of Am I Being Unreasonable? and 24 hours later it stacks all three episodes of Nolly back to back …

➢➢ The Rookie: Feds‘ black queer lead Niecy Nash-Betts is the drama’s chief attraction, critics said. “Like its parent show, The Rookie: Feds is watchable because of its star and very little else,” said Decider. “But Nash-Betts is just so damn watchable that you’ll enjoy the series despite any reservations you may have.” Concurred Commonsense Media: “It’s lighthearted enough to watch while eating dinner or unwinding from a long day, but it’s dramatic enough to keep you engaged” …

➢➢ Nolly stars Helena Bonham Carter in a Russell T. Davies’ dramatisation of how UK TV’s biggest star in 1981 — soap opera queen Noele “Nolly” Gordon — was dumped from Crossroads at the height of the serial’s success. The three-part series earned exceptional reviews. “Whenever it allows itself to take a breath, Nolly approaches the depth and texture of Davies’ best work,” said Variety. But its commercial appeal will be limited in a market where Crossroads was never a primetime staple, hence TVNZ 1 burning it off on a non-commercial night …

➢➢ The Guardian said comedy-thriller Am I Being Unreasonable? tries to do too many things to be truly great. But its star is phenomenally funny – and occasionally heartbreakingly vulnerable”. Co-writer Daisy May Cooper plays an unhappily married mother who’s secretly grieving for her lover when she bonds with a kindred spirit (fellow writer Selin Hizli) who has a dark side. The Telegraph said Unreasonable “flips from romance to thriller to horror” in its five-star rave but Radio Times thought it “tonally distinct yet hit-and-miss” …

➢➢ Three refreshes Wednesday nights with S3 of Match Fit: League Legends at 7.30, and the premieres of Landspeed (8.30) and Inside the Heist (9.30). Landspeed charts Emirates Team NZ’s bid at a world speed record while in Heist, detectives and former robbers reveal the planning, personalities and ingenuity behind audacious heists. It opens with the South London gang that attempted daylight robbery of a priceless diamond on display at the Millennium Dome …

➢➢ Buried on Easter Sunday afternoon are two documentaries of interest to filmmaking and wildlife buffs: Hans Zimmer: Hollywood Rebel (TVNZ 1, 1.50) chronicles the 40-year career of the composer of movies like Rain Man and Pirates of the CaribbeanAttenborough’s Wonder of Song (TVNZ 1, 2.50) features of “seven of the most remarkable animal songs found in nature and explores the significance of these songs in the lives of their species” …

➢➢ Whakaata Māori is double-billing its S5 premiere of The Casketeers (7.30 Thursday) with the debut of Duality (8.00 Thursday), which it bills as “a raw look” at Māori with mixed-whakapapa who searching for their identity. It features EFFN Clothing owners Mia Paranihi and Wairua Takarangi, social media influencer Lavi “Fresh Brince” Vetelino and pop artist Theia …

➢➢ TVNZ 2 is stripping the latest season of LEGO Masters NZ (7.30 Monday-Wednesday from April 10) ahead of LEGO Masters Australia: Grand Masters’ fifth season surfacing on Three later next month …

➢➢ Also starting new seasons are Aussie Bull Catchers S2 (Duke, 9.10 Sunday), Ambulance S10 (Prime, 8.30 Wednesday), 7 Days (Three, 7.30 Thursday) and Hard Quiz (TVNZ 1, 8.45 Thursday) while Unbelievable Moments Caught on Camera and The Great British Sewing Bee end their runs 

➢➢ Blankety Blank (TVNZ 1, 7.00 Sunday) and Alan Carr’s Epic Game Show (TVNZ 1, 7.35 Sunday) pre-empt Hyundai Country Calendar and Sunday because of Easter while filling in for Seven Sharp and Fair Go is Travel Man: 96 Hours in Rio (TVNZ 1, 7.00 Monday) …

➢➢ Easter movies dominate in the second week of April while a Woodstock update launches another Prime Rocks season:

  • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (TVNZ 2, 5.45 Saturday)
  • Frozen Reo Māori (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Man Up (Whakaata Māori, 8.45 Saturday)
  • Within (Duke, 9.30 Saturday)
  • Elysium (Three, 10.30 Saturday)
  • Grudge Match (TVNZ 2, 12.45am Sunday)
  • Borg vs McEnroe (TVNZ 2, 2.40am Sunday)
  • Antz (TVNZ 2, 3.35 Sunday)
  • Hop (TVNZ 2, 5.00 Sunday)
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (TVNZ 2, 6.35 Sunday)
  • Rise of the Guardians (Three, 7.00 Sunday)
  • The Shawshank Redemption (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Sunday)
  • The World’s Fastest Indian (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Pan’s Labyrinth (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Green Lantern (Three, 8.40 Sunday) 
  • Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (TVNZ 2, 10.55 Sunday)
  • A Cinderella Story (TVNZ 2, 11am Monday)
  • Rabbit Academy (Whakaata Māori, midday Monday)
  • Bride Wars (TVNZ 2, 12.50 Monday)
  • Scoob! (Three, 7.00 Monday)
  • S.W.A.T. (Prime, 8.30 Monday)
  • Gods of Egypt (Three, 8.55 Monday)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Three, 7.30 Tuesday)
  • L.A. Confidential (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • A White, White Day (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Woodstock 99: Peace, Love and Rage (Prime, 8.30 Thursday)
  • Deep Impact (Three, 7.30 Friday)
  • The Huntsman – Winter’s War (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Friday)
  • The Nutty Professor (Duke, 9.25 Friday)
  • The Nutty Professor 2 – The Klumps (Duke, 11.10 Friday).
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